The BIFF Response(SM) Method In Educational Settings

biff imgExcerpted from BIFF: Quick Responses to High Conflict People, Their Personal Attacks, Hostile Emails and Social Media Meltdowns

A Teacher Example

Connie is a teacher. One day she was talking with a group of students, and said that George Washington never really cut down a cherry tree. She said this was just an example to demonstrate the idea of how honest he was.

The next day, one of the parents confronted Connie, yelled at her and said that the she had traumatized her child. “Someone” then sent an email to the local radio station with the teacher’s name and place of work stating how awful she was and that the Connie had said to the parent “you are lying to your child”. This email was read on the morning show and the DJs had a good laugh at Connie’s expense. Connie was very upset and felt that her reputation was tarnished and that the school was also hurt.

Should she respond? To Whom? To the parent, the school or the DJs? What should she say?

What would you do?

We live in a culture where more and more communication is delivered through text, emails, discussion forums and social media sites. It’s very easy to type up emotions and press “send” when responding to a hostile communication (or writing one). The educational arena is a place where aggressive communications can abound, but we believe it’s also one of the best places to teach new methods of responding when a High-Conflict Person attacks.

  • Have you ever been on the receiving end of a letter to the faculty head saying what a horrible teacher you are?
  • Maybe you are a student whose teacher posted on the web portal that you are lazy, and your parents read
  • Stuck on a group project with someone who does no work but sends texts around saying it’s your fault?
  • Do you dread the next PTA or School Board meeting because you know Mr. X will follow up with another round of emails spreading blame like fertilizer?
  • Have you ever received an email from your kid’s teacher with “suggestions” about your parenting?
  • Does your school’s staff need help responding to parental complaints?
  • Maybe your student body could use help dealing with student/student drama that’s getting disruptive.

These are just a few of the situations where you might find a High-Conflict Person, or be an HCP’s target of blame. Chances are, it’s happened before, and it will happen again. Do you know how to respond?

BIFF Responses are specifically designed to help you respond to written hostilities, but it can also be used in person-to-person verbal confrontations. BIFF is Brief, Informative, Friendly, and Firm (don’t let the friendly part fool you). It’s a simple set of tools that’s quick and effective in dealing with today’s High-Conflict communications, and we price it to be affordable to everyone. Check out our products, services and trainings for more information and contact us with questions or comments.

Related Article: Coaching for a BIFF ResponseSM

Coaching for a BIFF Response

Coachingbiff1This training helps you improve your BIFF skills and your coaching skills and includes examples of coaching other people to use the BIFF Response Method. It’s not as easy as it looks!


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